A Comparative Study on Socio-Economic Impact of COVID- 19 Pandemic on Fisheries Industry in Tangalle Divisional Secretariat Division
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has provided the basis for creating a highly problematic environment in every sector of the world today has also had a significant impact on the fisheries industry which is one of the world’s leading economic activities. The main objective of this study was to examine the socio-economic impacts on fisheries industry before and during COVID-19 pandemic situation with special reference to Tangalle Divisional Secretariat Division. The study was based on the four Grama Niladhari Divisions of Kudawella North, Central, South and West associated with the Kudawella Fisheries Harbor. Primary data was collected from a field survey using a semi structured questionnaire from 74 fishing families representing the 75% of the population under stratified random sampling. Paired T test was carried out to test the variables comparatively before and after COVID-19 pandemic to confirm the result statistically. In addition, simple statistical methods were used for the quantitative assessment. Results revealed that the epidemic situation had a significant socio-economic impact on the fishing industry during the COVID-19 pandemic situation such as declining income, growth of indebtedness, disruption of children’s education, mental distress and social stigma. Suggestions were identified to mitigate the impacts. In this context, it was concluded that the COVID-19 epidemic has primarily affected the fisheries industry and as a result, created many socio-economic problems for the fisheries community.